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Tuesday, 9 March 1971
Page: 695

Mr O'KEEFE (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Minister for Immigration. During a recent visit to Turkey 1 was informed by the authorities, and I also noticed, that there was a demand for Turkish workers throughout Europe. Plane loads of Turkish workers were observed leaving for West Germany. As a result of this visit I ask the Minister: What is the current situation concerning the Turkish programme in Australia? How is the programme running? Have problems been encountered and how are Turkish workers regarded within industry?

Mr LYNCH - In reply to the honourable gentleman's question without notice, I can say that I certainly know of his visit to Turkey and of the keen demand for Turkish workers throughout Europe, particularly because of the devolpment of the guestworker concept in that part of the world. So far as the Turkish programme is concerned, it first came into operation in Australia early in 1969 and since that time some 7,500 Turkish people have arrived here, settling basically in Victoria and New South Wales with more recent arrivals going to Queensland and Western Australia. The programme this year has been eased to allow the arrival of some 3,000 Turkish people. When the programme first came into operation it was well appreciated that because this was a new source of selection and there were at the time relatively few Turkish people here there would be some problems. As a consequence of that realisation and a detailed integration study carried out by my Department it was found that the problems experienced by Turkish people in Australia were as a general rule no different from the problems experienced by arrivals from any new source of migration to Australia.

A number of special measures have been taken to assist the integration of Turkish people here. In Turkey, apart from the pre-embarkation course, special orientation classes have been provided better to assist Turkish people to integrate after their arrival here. So far as the Australian end of the operation is concerned, again a number of special measures have been undertaken which include special language training facilities to assist Turkish migrants to understand and acquire a knowledge of the language, citizenship education courses and an increased number of Turkish speaking welfare officers. So the honourable gentleman will gauge from this reply that a great deal is being done. I can tell him from discussions I have had with employers of Turkish workers in a number of States of Australia that they are very well regarded as good and industrious workers.

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